Renowned Hawaiian Chef

Thomas B.H. Wong, CME, CEC – is a Professor – Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, where he educates and guides young culinarians through the rigors of the CIA’s Associates of Occupational Studies and Accelerated Culinary Arts programs.

Wong’s passions for all things culinary started as a Hawai’i youngster. Always in and out of his grandma’s kitchen, he cooked with his mom, aunties and his grandma, learning to fine tune the ingredients, spices and stunning flavors of the island dishes of Hawai’i. Throughout his teenage years, he toiled for two uncles; one owned a bakery in Honolulu and another, a Chinese restaurant in California. Quickly, he caught the cooking bug and the die was cast: he knew he wanted to – had to – become a chef. To that end, he began his formal culinary education at, and graduated from, Kapiolani Community College (he later served and Chef Instructor for his first alma mater, mentoring fledgling chefs as they found their way through the fundamentals and more advanced principals of the culinary learning process.) In pursuit of excellence, Wong then went on to attend and graduate from The Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park, N.Y. For the next two years following his CIA studies, he apprenticed for the iconic and award-winning Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, sparking his love and respect for luxury hotels and their award-winning cuisine.

Now, with more than 35 years of culinary experience in the luxury hospitality industry, Wong has served in an Executive Chef capacity for a roster of prestigious establishments: Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i; Hotel Hana in Maui, Hana, Hawai’i, Waialae Country in Honolulu, Hawai’i; and the historic Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

While at the Royal Hawaiian , chef Wong created “Flavors of Hawaii”, a culinary concept adopted for all Sheraton Hawaii hotels, emphasizing the use of fresh island products to allow the purity of the food to speak for itself, unhampered by heavy sauces or creams. His philosophy includes a strong commitment to sustainability and he has always endeavored to use local and seasonal produce, fish and meat in his kitchens.

A Certified Executive Chef, Wong is also a member of the American Culinary Federation, the National Ice Carving Association, Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and Le Chines des Rotisseurs.

Wong has been a guest chef at the highly respected James Beard House, for their Great Hotel Series, a Host and Guest Chef on Television Food Network’s Cooking Across America – Hawaiian Style as well as guest chef for TVFN shows Talking Food, Dining Around, Pick of the Day, and In Food Today. He has also appeared on CNN’s series On the Menu, Wake Up America (America’s Talking Network/CNBC), Weekend TODAY in New York (NBC), and Home and Family (The Family Channel). He proudly shares the limelight, with a prestigious lineup of Hawaiian culinarians, as one of the featured chefs in the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs television series Great Chefs of Hawai’i, and its companion cookbook.

Photo of Chef Tom Wong